College Essays

Highlights from a talk on Writing College Essays

on Aug 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM in College Essays

Your Essay Needs To Tell Admissions Readers
Who you are
What you are passionate about
Why you should be in that class, what distinctive elements you will contribute
Cardinal rule of college essays: admissions committee should hear your voice, know more about your history, interests, values and goals.
“Add clarity, richness and meaning to other parts of application… The personal statement is your interview with the University of California.”
Also used to evaluate your communication and writing skills: “ability to make a point in easy-to- understand and clearly stated manner.” (U Texas)

Getting Started / Brainstorming Ideas
Familiarize yourself with the form: 
Personal essay

This I Believe
http://thisibelieve.org/essay
After reading each one, answer two questions:
What did I learn about the writer?
Why did that piece work? Technique? Voice?
Successful college essays
http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/essays/
http://www.conncoll.edu/admission/apply/essays-that-worked/

Keep a Journal: Record ideas for short prompts and major prompts weekly
Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.
Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content.
Rite of passage, formal or informal, within your culture or family.

Do writing exercises
Make a Timeline w/20 significant life events
Identify and describe objects in your room
"Value Search"- Define your top ten values in two sentences
Elevator Speech/Pitch to Admissions

How Do You Know When You Are Done? Ask….
Did I answer the prompt?
Does it have a strong intro and powerful conclusion?
Does it expand on presentation of who I am? Add info of value?
Is it written in my voice? Would someone who knows you well identify essay as yours?
Is it logical, grammatically correct?
Is it developed beyond chronology to reflection? Does it state why topic matters to you?
Does it complement other pieces of application?
Did I let it rest? Have someone else proofread, comment?
Did it meet word limit?
Did I give them a good reason to admit me?

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